Some Republican critics say that Obama’s remarks this week in Kansas — delivered in the shadow of Teddy Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech about using government to rein in corporate interests doing harm to people — offer evidence that he’s pushing a socialist agenda, but Obama stressed to Kroft, as he did in the speech, that it’s all about more basic fairness.Yeah, Teddy Roosevelt was a socialist.
People in the audience at his speech, Obama said, want to know, “What’s happened to the bargain? What’s happened to the American deal that says, you know, we are focused on building a strong middle class?” Americans are “concerned about inequality” and he’s trying to remedy it by placing new rules on Wall Street, by intensifying consumer protections by getting his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fully up and running, and by asking the rich to pay more in taxes to fund government spending on investments in the future like education and health care.
Someone should put a microphone in front of every Republican member of Congress and ask them what "socialism" is. I suspect you'd get several hundred really dumb answers that vaguely describe the Soviet Union, which kind of went away two decades ago. But the Republican party only has so many tricks up its sleeve, and crying "communist" is one of them. It's really offensive to the memory of what the Soviet Union actually was - and don't for a minute think that the Republicans aren't accusing Obama of being a communist, that's exactly what they mean when they say "socialist" - aka Soviet (they also call Obama and his administration "Marxist" - again, someone should ask them what that means).
I visited the Soviet Union and then Russia. Back in early 1984, and then again shortly after its demise. It was a scary, seriously messed up, place. And it's an offense to everyone the Soviets killed, and all the lives they ruined, to claim that stopping insurance companies from banning people with pre-existing conditions, or holding Wall Street accountable for the disaster they, and their ilk in Europe, brought upon the world, is "just like what the Soviets did." I was there. It's really not.
The Democrats should have put a stop to this "socialist" charge the second it came out from the Republicans. But they let it go, and soon it became okay for Republicans of every stripe to make the absurdly offensive charge. At some point Democrats need to out the Republicans for the extremist one-note bullies they really are.